DEVELOPERS converting an empty hotel into flats have seen their hopes of creating four more rooms in the fire-ravaged building dashed.

Permission was granted to turn Heathside Guest House in Bewsey into a 14-bedroom house in multiple occupation in December.

The currently vacant B&B on Froghall Lane sold for £250,000 at auction back in June last year.

Now developers want to have 18 rooms, blaming rising costs due to delays cause by the coronavirus pandemic and the need for a new roof.

But the application was turned down by planners at Warrington Borough Council who say the new scheme would be out of keeping with the area.

MBB Ventures says in the new planning application: "Upon commencement of the implementation of this permission, it was determined that unfortunately the roof is in an extremely poor state of repair and therefore necessitates a new roof structure in order to ensure the property is safe and habitable.

"Given the found state of the roof, the initially approved project now incurs significant delays and additional financial costs which are further compounded by the current coronavirus pandemic.

"That being said, the applicant remains committed to enhancing the existing site such that it contributes positively to the locality in terms of use and design; but is also safe, sustainable and secure in terms of building control."

Developers said property in its current state has fire damage in the basement and is in a poor condition throughout.

The plans add: “The applicant plans to renovate the entire property to an extremely high standard.

“By converting the building, the applicant is making the most of an existing structure on a large site which may otherwise fall into disrepair."

But planners were concerned by the application and threw it out.

A report concluded: "The proposed development, by virtue of its scale and design, would compete in terms of scale and dominance within the street scene and would negatively impact the significance of the listed buildings (namely Holly Lodge and Ivy Lodge/Laburnum Villa), which is derived from its architectural and historic merit."